Jan Stafford Kellis
The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch

The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch

The Highest Tide by Jim LynchMy rating: 5 of 5 stars This is my favorite kind of story: Intriguing character I wish I could meet (13-year-old Miles O’Malley), a healthy dose of information about something I know little about (in this case, the tidal pools near Olympia, Washington) and a…

The Dog Year by Ann Wertz Garvin

The Dog Year by Ann Wertz Garvin

The Dog Year by Ann Wertz GarvinMy rating: 5 of 5 stars Step inside The Dog Year and meet Dr. Lucy Peterman, a plastic surgeon struggling to navigate her life after losing her husband and unborn child. She copes by stealing hospital supplies and stockpiling them in her bedroom. Until…

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle ZevinMy rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a charming little sandwich book. AJ Fikry is a widower who lives above his bookstore and is slowly drinking himself to death when he meets a pretty young bookseller from one of his favorite…

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

One Plus One by Jojo MoyesMy rating: 4 of 5 stars Another great tome by Jojo Moyes! What do you get when you throw a math genius, her gothic brother, their desperately optimistic mother, and their slobbering behemoth dog into a plush luxury car owned and driven by an arrogant…

The Financial Lives of the Poets

The Financial Lives of the Poets

The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess WalterMy rating: 5 of 5 stars Jump in with both feet and read this witty, darkly comic tale of financial, moral and marital ruin. Matt Prior is a former newspaper reporter with a mortgage in forbearance (six days until eviction), two boys…

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins by Jess WalterMy rating: 5 of 5 stars Beautiful Ruins was a suggested reading selection for the University of Wisconsin writers’ workshop: Weekend With Your Novel, in Madison, WI November 14-16. If you write fiction, and you’re within 12 hours of Madison, this workshop is worth your time.…

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn JacksonMy rating: 5 of 5 stars A pot-boiler! I listened to this on my recent drive to Madison, Wisconsin to attend a writers’ workshop and it kept me occupied the entire way (eight hours). This story is told from multiple viewpoints: Big/Ginny, the…

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne FowlerMy rating: 4 of 5 stars Zelda Fitzgerald is someone for whom I never spared a thought.  Everyone knows she was selfish, jealous, shallow and more than a little crazy, right? Wrong! Therese Anne Fowler portrays Zelda as a smart, supportive…

The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife by Paula McLainMy rating: 5 of 5 stars I’m ready to hop on a plane to Paris. I only wish I could also travel back in time to those crazy years in the 1920s. What a whirlwind tale! This is the story of Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage,…

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy FowlerMy rating: 5 of 5 stars How far back can you remember? Can you trust your earliest recollections, or have they been colored by time, maturity, perspective, subsequent events, or listening to others telling stories? Maybe your memories aren’t yours at…